You picked the perfect turkey. You patted the skin dry, gave it the perfect rub—above AND below the skin. You tweaked aunt Gertrude’s stuffing recipe until it had the right balance of nostalgia and new-school.
You’ve spent literally all day watching and basting that bird until it cooked to a perfect, juicy crisp. Why would you hack it up with the wrong knife, or worse—a noisy, electric “meat saw” of a contraption?
So, what do you need to carve that beautiful bird’s breast into perfect parallel portions? A carving knife, of course!
It may sound obvious, but it really makes a difference.
Carving knives have a narrower blade than a chef’s knife. This makes them easier to handle above a cutting board and helps reduce drag against the meat. Just make sure your knife is nice and sharp.
Carving knives come in a variety of sizes. For a good-sized turkey, you’ll want at least 8 inches. I, personally, prefer a ten inch-er.
Opposed to popular thought, you’ll want to only use the carving knife in one direction (pull toward you). It helps you make a more even and consistent slice.
Use a carving fork with your carving knife to hold the bird steady while you slice. It also helps you serve your slices.
Curved or straight fork? It’s really a matter of preference. If you’re in the market for one and can’t decide, mime you’re carving a turkey. It looks silly, but if your fork-holding elbow is high, go for a straight one. If it’s low, you’ll be more comfortable with a curved one.
You don’t want to use a serrated knife. Serrations can cause the fibres of the meat to tear. Torn meat fibre looks less lovely, and can make for a chewier slice. And that’s a bread knife. (It had to be said.)
Here are some bonus cool tools for your Thanksgiving bird:
The turkey frills look amazing if you are going for that retro vibe, but remember not to put them in the oven.
The brining bags are a great space-saver if you prefer a brined bird.
As for the last two items, they are pop-up timers. They really work! Once the turkey is cooked through, the steam causes the red top to pop up.
My kitchen pick for Thanksgiving is… time with friends and family. So, have a good one.